Q: Why did you create your SAT and ACT courses?

A: The motivation behind producing these SAT and ACT courses here at Menking Tutoring is simple. We believe that everyone should have access to the top tier, best-in-class instruction in a format that is as convenient as possible and that fits into everyone’s schedule and their lives. For many families the best option for them is an online course like this. We have seen tremendous results, and we’re happy to be following through and fulfilling that part of our mission – to provide access to the best quality test prep and to make that as widely available as we possibly can.

Q: What makes Menking Tutoring unique?

A: One key aspect of what makes our test prep courses unique is the emphasis that we place on a student’s mindset. Like any endeavor where we are asking people to achieve at the highest level and to maintain sustained effort and focus over a long period of time, we have to think constructively and comprehensively about maximizing engagement and understanding both the way that our brains are functioning and the way our bodies work. Ultimately this comes down to mindset. When students have the right mindset they are absolutely on the best trajectory to grow, to take advantage of these materials, and to see their scores improve. This is an area where, unfortunately, many other test prep providers and programs lack focus. We can jump right into the content, but if a student’s mindset isn’t oriented properly from the get-go, then the rest of the work they do isn’t going to be as efficient as it could be. As a result their scores are not going to be as optimized as possible, which is what I want all of my students to achieve.

Q: How do I choose between the SAT and the ACT?

A: There are many important factors when it comes to choosing between the SAT and the ACT, but the most important thing that I look for is a student’s preference. If a student looks at a particular practice test and says “…you know what, I just don’t like this,” for whatever reason, that’s a signal to me to justify going in the opposite direction. It’s about finding the path of least resistance to the highest percentile score possible. Whether that’s an SAT or ACT, we have you covered here at Menking Tutoring.

Q: When should I start preparing for the SAT or ACT?

A: If I had to pick the best time to start doing standardized test prep, it would be the summer between sophomore and junior years. If you are in a position to take these tests and get to the best score that you can in the fall of your junior year, then that’s going to free up a lot of time and effort to focus on all of the other pursuits that are taking up people’s time during the winter and the spring of their junior year. Obviously, if you’re starting after that there’s still plenty of time. I’ve seen people go through the entire test prep process in a relatively short time frame, but ideally you’re beginning your prep after sophomore year so that you can take your tests in the fall of junior year.

Q: Does your course deal with stress and anxiety?

A: Many students experience a significant amount of stress and anxiety related to standardized testing. Here at Menking Tutoring we focus a lot of our mindset materials on that area so that students can understand how stress and anxiety work. We provide a variety of tools and techniques that students can use to help overcome those obstacles in order to get the best scores possible.

Q: Why is Menking Tutoring the best option for Online SAT and SAT prep?

A: We focus on 3 things here at Menking Tutoring: Mastering your Mindset, Procedure and Tools. Other courses don’t address test anxiety, and can gloss over techniques and make you do a million practice problems. With the brand new Digital SAT course, we are ensuring our students have the most up-to-date practice problems, but also understand how to take on the new format of the test; utilizing their calculator and important tools that will help you to succeed. 

Q: Do you have to go through the materials in order?

A: At Menking Tutoring we’ve structured our courses so that students can go to any aspect of the material at any point. If you’re starting your procedure from scratch, then you may want to start with the first video and work your way through completely in order. That is totally fine. But some students are coming to us having already done some work, just looking to touch up in other areas, and to get a feel for how things are going. Those students can use the modules that we’ve constructed to target their review. Of course, you can reach out to our team to get some feedback about the best way to go through those materials.

Q: How quickly will my scores improve?

A: It’s important to think about improvement less as a straight line up and more as a staircase. Every so often you will figure something out and that will stop you from making the same mistakes and you will just never go back to that previous level. What I’m looking for from students is initially to go from where they start halfway to a perfect score. Therefore, if you’re starting your SAT journey for instance with a diagnostic at 1000 – out of 1600 – I want you to get halfway there to a 1300 with the main body of incorporating the techniques and basic practice. From there, even more improvement is possible, but as an initial target I’d want you to get halfway from where you start to a perfect score.

Q: Can online prep work better than 1-1?

A: The primary advantage that our test prep courses have over in person or 1-1 instruction is primarily in the area of convenience. These courses are structured so that a student can access any video or any portion of the course at any time of their choosing. They can not only fit this course into their schedule more effectively, but they can also revisit the content as many times as they want to ensure that they’ve achieved the level of mastery they’re looking for. In a 1-1 or in person setting that’s much more challenging to accomplish. It’s one of the key advantages of using a digital resource like the test prep offerings at Menking Tutoring.

Q: Does your course cover the new Digital SAT?

A: The College Board has introduced a new digital version of the SAT which will be the standard for U.S. students from spring 2024 on. We have updated our SAT course to properly reflect the new test, and our old SAT course will remain available inside of the same platform for students still taking the old version of the SAT in the fall of 2023.

Q: Does going to an “elite” school really help with jobs?

A: Attending a highly ranked and regarded college or university will translate to positive career and professional benefits because of the credentialing that the name on the diploma provides a student. This is a function not just of the education available of these institutions, but the networks that those institutions have. Now, I will say that we are gradually moving in a direction where, in many fields, your ability to solve problems will become a bit more important than just the name on the diploma. For the foreseeable future, however, credentials will continue to provide an advantage for at least getting your foot in the door with certain types of professional opportunities. It is important for everyone to aim to attend the highest level of college that they can, provided it’s the right fit for you personally, academically, and culturally.

Q: How much does college help with getting a good job?

A: Looking at the data we can see pretty clearly that people who go on to earn a college degree have higher lifetime earning potential than those who do not. This is not to say that if you don’t have a college degree then you can’t be successful or that you can’t get a good job or find a good career. However, attending college does provide you a wider array of productive pathways that, if taken advantage of, can open up the door to a variety of additional opportunities.

Q: Do you offer college consulting?

A: Our courses are specifically focused on the standardized test prep aspect of the college process. However, I’m fortunately in a position where I have many excellent colleagues whom I recommend and refer families to. They can provide precise advice about the nature of your application, college essays, financial aid packages, and all of the other complex considerations that go into this important decision of where to apply and where to go to college.

Q: What about test optional schools?

A: The test optional approach that many colleges and universities have taken over the past few years is likely here to stay, but that doesn’t mean that taking standardized tests is no longer a good idea. For most students, particularly those who are in a position to do well on the tests, it is still important. In fact, it might be more important than ever before because of the kind of competition that is going on at these selective schools as it pertains to admissions. The test optional scenario is something to consider for many students. However, for almost every student your best approach is to prepare for the test as well as you can, to achieve your optimal score and to submit that in the hopes that it will allow your application to be more favorably considered.

Q: Can you provide customer references?

A: Fortunately, because of the results that we’ve been able to generate for students here at Menking Tutoring, there are many testimonials and resources that we can provide in order to help you understand how our program works and what it has been able to achieve. If you’re looking for a reference – whether it’s a student, parent, or program administrator – please let us know, and we would be happy to point you to connect you with someone who can vouch for the effectiveness of our courses.

Q: What are your tutoring credentials?

A: Students taking our courses have seen tremendous improvements in their scores in both the SAT and the ACT. Ultimately, that’s what matters most. Working as a private tutor for a decade – at the most competitive schools with the most competitive agencies in New York City and with students all around the globe – has given me a base of experience that I have used to synthesize and distill the most important factors that lead students down a path of success. And, not just getting there, but getting there as efficiently as possible. That’s what matters at the end of the day: the results.

Q: How much do your courses cost?

A: A membership to one of our courses, either SAT or ACT, costs $750 and that price includes 12 months of unfettered and comprehensive access to every single piece of materials we have. There are no upcharges, or anything else that’s associated with it. It is a flat fee of $750 to participate in our courses.

Q: Do you take on any students free of charge?

A: Families who purchase a membership to our courses are helping us to provide free access to these materials to students who would not otherwise be able to afford this kind of premium test prep. We partner with a variety of schools and organizations from around the world and we’ve provided hundreds of students with the opportunity to take this course. Many have seen amazing results and have expanded their horizon of what colleges and universities they can apply to as a result. Thank you for considering our course. Your purchase goes a long way towards helping us maintain and expand those efforts to serve communities and help people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to access these resources.

Q: Can parents access you directly?

A: As a private tutor, a major part of my responsibility is being a trusted provider of educational services to young adults and thus this requires being accessible to parents as well. I welcome any and all commentary, feedback, and questions. Any interaction with parents is healthy because it helps me to provide any kind of particular advice that would be optimized for each student’s individual situation. I welcome parents reaching out to me even if you’re not currently enrolled in our program. Contact me at steven@menkingtutoring.com. I am happy to hear from you.

Q: Can students access you directly?

A: In my decade as a private tutor I have prided myself on my responsiveness – in particular, to the needs of my students. It is very important to me that I remain as responsive as possible to everyone who’s interacting with our materials. Students can send me an email directly, to steven@menkingtutoring.com. I pledge that I will get back to students as soon as I can, typically within 24 hours.